Friday, April 13, 2007


Summary of massive study of European jihadis from Dutch researchers Edwin Bakker and Teije Hidde Donker in DerSpiegel.

From the article (my emphasis):
One of the most important findings of the Dutch study is that there are no standard jihadists. According to the researchers, the 28 networks they identified differ considerably from one another. In some cases, authorities were dealing with individual attackers, whereas more than 30 people were involved in the 2004 bombings of trains in Madrid. The data also cover a wide range when it comes to the attackers' ages. The youngest was 16 and the oldest 59, which makes the average age of 27.3 years not especially meaningful. Internally, however, the cells are surprisingly homogeneous. Pakistanis generally get together with Pakistanis, Moroccans with Moroccans...
The article points out that Marc Sagemann's great study of international jihadism showed the original AQ was Egyptian and Saudi in background radicalized abroad (say Afghanistan). These jihadis are a different generation--they are home grown and radicalized.
What this boils down to is that these Euro-terrorists are recruiting themselves. The Internet plays an important role in this process. Many of the jihadists featured in the study obtained al-Qaida propaganda via the Internet, especially in the last few months leading up to their attacks.
And finally:
Most of all, what the study shows is that most attackers who commit acts of terror in Europe first developed into jihadists within European societies, and in most cases completely without any prior battlefield experience and without having attended terrorist training camps.
tags technorati :
tags technorati :


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